Concern over BPA exposure has been increasing in recent years, backed up by more and more scientific research being published on the subject finding that BPA harms our health. This is quite a problem as BPA is ubiquitous in modern society.
A 2004 study by the CDC found that 93% of the population tested positive for BPA metabolites in their urine. BPA has long been linked to hormonal disruption, cancer and infertility. Now there is evidence that prenatal exposure to BPA results in behavioural disturbances in children by age 3.
Dr Joe Braun PhD from Harvard University’s School of Public Health studied 244 pregnant women, testing their urine for BPA metabolites at 16 and 26 weeks of gestation and the urine of their babies at 1, 2 and 3 years of age. The children also underwent 2 tests to assess their behaviour and executive function or ability to focus, plan, memorise, analyse, multi-task, control emotions and make decisions.
The results of the study, published in the journal Paediatrics in 2011 found that higher levels of BPA exposure in the womb were related to an increase in behavioural disturbanecs at age 3, particularly amongst girls. Braun had previously found that BPA exposure was associated with increased hyperactivity and aggression in 2 year old girls. The more recent study found in particular that scores for depression were higher in boys and girls exposed to BPA, though girls seemed particularly vulnerable to this with an average score of 11 in comparison to the boys’ 0.5. Girls exposed to BPA also scored worse with respect to hyperactivity and emotional control, though boys exposed to BPA did not appear to be affected in these areas.